Bedford’s political Town Committees are important to campaigns and candidates

Clerk Doris Smith looks on as Co-chair Brian Hart addresses the August meeting of the Bedford Democratic Town Committee and guests from Burlington and Wilmington.

By Julie McCay Turner

Every four years, Bedford voters may stand for election to the town’s Republican or Democratic Town Committees and their names then appear on the Massachusetts Presidential Primary ballot. As elected officials, committee members are often among the first to meet each crop of candidates for offices from State Representative to U.S. Senator.

Bedford’s Republican Town Committee’s leadership team: Chairman Anne Collins (center) with Clerk Joy Kenen and Treasurer Peter Collins-Brown.

Both of Bedford’s Town Committee chairs are new this year. Anne Collins is the chair of Bedford’s Republican Town Committee; Brian and Alma Hart co-chair Bedford’s Democratic Town Committee. Each committee has close ties to its party’s candidates, and both committees are working with them to secure visits to Bedford on September 15 when the town celebrates Bedford Day.

The Republican Committee’s campaign is structured formally with Town Captains for several races (Scott Brown, US Senate: Joy Kenen; Richard Tisei, US Congress: Anne Collins; and Greg Howes, Massachusetts Senate: Mark Venuti). The Democratic Town Committee members work as informal teams, with campaign efforts flowing from the candidates to the committee through its chairpersons.

Town Committee members are privileged to get early and direct access to the candidates during town committee meetings. All five of the Democratic candidates for the 3rd Middlesex Senate seat met with the Democratic Town Committee in April, and announced write-in candidates for the 21st Middlesex Representative seat, David Fionda and Walter Zenkin, each attended their respective town committee’s August meetings to share news of their campaigns and to explain their position on the issues facing the district.

Members of the town committees assist candidate campaigns in identifying voters and getting them to the polls. They also wave signs at intersections, and plant them, with permission, in yards of like-minded residents. They host house parties, help to deliver candidate literature, door-to-door; and participate in phone banks. Town committee meetings are also places where political philosophy is the topic of ardent debates.

Formal membership in both Republican and Democratic town committees is limited to 35 voters. Associate members are welcome and can be voted into full membership when formal slots are available. To explore a connection with the Republican Town Committee, contact Anne Collins at amcadvantage @; or to find out more about the Democratic Town Committee, contact Brian or Alma Hart at brian.hart02 @

As Bedford voters may already know, the 2012 Massachusetts Republican and Democratic primaries on Thursday, September 6, is particularly important for our town. Both of Bedford’s representatives in the Massachusetts Legislature, House and Senate alike, will be newly-elected in November. And both the Democratic and Republican primaries are marked by write in contests by candidates seeking to replace retired State Representative Charley Murphy. Add a seven-person, two-party race for Susan Fargo’s State Senate seat, and there is more local election excitement than Bedford has seen in years.

To learn more about the candidates on the September 6 primary ballot, click on this link to The Bedford Citizen’s 2012 Elections page.

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Charles C
August 12, 2012 11:18 am

In a town where the local elections are non-partisan, disappointed to see Cathy Cordes and Margot Fleischman pictured here and notorious for being blindly partisan for Democrats for personal political goals. Stay non-partisan elected members of Bedford! Gigantic partisan signs in front of your house for months on end undermine your legitimacy.